Guitar-playing bankruptcy judge tuned in to people

By By JEFF KAROUB

DETROIT (AP) — The judge overseeing Detroit's bankruptcy case is making sure that the impact on people is front and center in his courtroom.

Friends and colleagues say the veteran judge tapped to oversee Detroit's trip through bankruptcy didn't have to invite residents and retirees into his court to hear their stories.

But they say Judge Steven Rhodes showed sensitivity to the pensioners' plight in the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history when he did that earlier this year.

The judge was planning to retire himself before accepting the assignment. Colleagues say he has the passion and precision to tackle the complex, unusual restructuring case.

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